Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Center of the Universe

Creation Day Four - from Emmanuel

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.
Genesis 1:14-19

It would almost seem to the objective viewer that God’s creation activities on Day Four were a little out of place. Of course, since we are all part of God’s creation there is no such thing as an objective viewer. God has a purpose to all that He does, and Day Four of creation is no exception. As I noted in my essay on Day One God created light before there was any natural source for that light. The light that existed on days one through three was provided and sustained by God Himself. I also noted in my essay on Day Two that God does everything in an orderly manner. On the surface it doesn’t seem that Day Four is in order, but that is only because we live in God’s orderly world where certain “natural” phenomenon have “natural” causes.

As we know it, light must have a source. Light always has a source as far as we know. Yet, for the first three days that the universe existed there was light with no source except for God, Himself. For the closed-minded this would suggest that God is not so orderly, or that the account cannot be trusted. However, there is a better explanation. Knowing that God is orderly, we must then conclude that there is a different order at work. God does not only order His creation in terms of cause and effect, but also in terms of importance. I have recently found some stunning photographs of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. All of these pictures are amazing considering how far away we are from Saturn, and several of the photos are incredibly beautiful. However, you don’t have to look long at the planets in the solar system (other than earth) before you get the feeling that there is a great unfinished quality to them. Something is definitely missing, and that “something” includes all of the qualities which make earth a paradise and everywhere else certain death. There is nowhere in the universe would we rather be than right here on earth.

From Emmanuel

Earth is a paradise for people because God made it that way for us. It was no accident, nor was it an oversight, that God worked on Day Two and Day Three to make earth an inviting place for us, before He got around to making the sun, moon, and stars. This tells us that this place was a top priority for God, and everyplace else was secondary. As we shall see on Day Six of creation there is some significance to the order in which God creates and populates the world. If God had made the sun, moon, stars, and planets before Day Four then we would have more reason to think that these places have greater importance than they do. As it is, God put these created things in their place. According to the Genesis account the heavenly bodies were created to give us light and to help us keep track of time, and they still do all these things to this day. The heavenly bodies were given to serve us, and the fact that they have a beauty (though they may be cold and uninviting like Saturn or Enceladus) is just a bonus and another reason to praise God for His great wisdom.

Earth may not be the geographic center of the universe or the solar system, as the atheists are so eager to point out. Actually, you could make a case for the earth as the center of the universe. It isn’t usually done because the math gets extremely ugly real fast. I must confess that I, too, am a big fan of elegant mathematical equations in Physics so I will grant that the earth is not the geographical center of the universe. However, it is clear from Holy Scripture that people on earth are at the center of God’s attention. God proved that by His incarnation in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, God came down to earth as a man to redeem mankind from our sins. This place is not some “insignificant little speck among the vast universe.” We are so important to God that He came down to us to live and die as one of us that we might live in a new paradise with Him forever. God did not do this because we deserved it. God did this for us purely out of His love for us.

The Seven Days of Creation
In the Beginning
The Orderly Creation
Distinctions in Creation
The Center of the Universe
Designed by God
The Crown of God’s Creation
A Sabbath Day Rest

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